Notes for Discommunication Seireihen chapter 15

v1.0.5, 2012-4-17
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Pages 68-69

The title is actually "The Interconnectedness of Heaven and Man" but it was clearly too long.

Page 70

Consider the Westermarck effect.

Page 71

Golden Week is a cluster of vacation days at the beginning of May.

Page 79

This interconnectedness thing is related to concepts such as the Divine Right of Kings and the Mandate of Heaven. In Chinese characters, it's a concise four characters, but I was not able to find a nice English phrase for it. The idea seems to have been put forth by a Confucian scholar.

Some serendipity turns up a paper from 1942 on "Conceptions of State and Kingship in Southeast Asia" by Robert Heine-Geldern (JSTOR). My access to JSTOR is broken, but the first page there says, "The primary notion which we shall have to deal with is the belief in the parallelism between Macrocosmos and Microcosmos, between the universe and the world of men." Heine-Geldern traces this belief to 2000-3500 B.C.E Babylonia.

The drawing is similar to "The Anatomical Man," a page of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, an illustrated manuscript from the early 1400s. It also reminds me of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. "Ubertas rerum" and "facundia" are Latin for "fertility" and "eloquence". These have associations in pre-Copernicus cosmology with the Moon and Mercury, respectively.

Page 80

I can't figure out how real this robe is. My searching turns up piles and piles of costume clothing and other horrifying things.

Page 81

Apparently it's not unpopular to reinterpret the settings of Biblical tales.

Page 82

Note that the British Museum is unwilling to call this a mask of Quetzalcoatl, describing it simply as a "turquoise mosaic mask."

There's a language thing that gets lost here. In Japanese, matsuri-goto can refer to either government (政) or to religion (祭). I left out a line where Touko mentions "the two matsuri-goto." To build on what Touko says here, let me quote from G. M. Wilson's Patriots and Redeemers in Japan: Motives in the Meiji Restoration:
Nothing intervened between politics and other aspects of official life. Religion in the strict sense of the word had no independent existence as it did in the West. What was political was also religious; the religious was equally political. The first Japanese term for government, matsurigoto or "ceremonial affairs," covered both politics and religion and worked to preclude a schism between the civil and the sacral. So it means something like "the business of worship" (as George Sansom puts it).

Page 98

Counting the original run of Discommunication and Discommunication Seireihen together gives us 101 chapters in total. Interestingly, three chapters have never been collected in a tankoubon.

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